Rood & Riddle To Host Gastroscopy Event Oct. 18

Horse owners have an opportunity for a free gastroscopy exam of their horse at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, located in Lexington, Ky., during the Oct. 18 Merial Animal Health gastroscopy seminar. Merial conducts gastroscopy seminars throughout the year at equine veterinary practices nationwide, providing horse owners with the diagnostic examination for their horse at no charge with medication purchase required only for those patients identified with stomach ulcers. In addition to the free gastroscopy, medication discounts and specials are available to seminar participants.

Standard treatment protocol for horses diagnosed with gastric ulcers is to administer GastroGard orally once daily for 28 days at the rate of one tube per 1,250lbs of body weight. However, individual dosage and treatment recommendations are based on the horse's body weight and severity of ulcer.

"I routinely recommend anywhere from five to 28 days treatment," said Hoyt Cheramie, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, manager of Equine Veterinary Services for Merial. "I make the treatment recommendation based on the severity, distribution, and area affected. Most nonracehorses get less than 28 days when I scope."

Seminar participants can purchase GastroGard at the event for the discounted price of $32 per tube. Participants will also receive a $5 rebate coupon per tube of GastroGard for every tube purchased up to seven tubes.

Rood & Riddle internal medicine specialists Bonnie Barr, VMD, Dipl. ACVIM; Peter Morresey, BVSc, MACVSc, Dipl. ACT, ACVIM; and Steve Reed, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, along with Cheramie, will be on hand to perform gastroscopy exams and provide educational commentary to explain the procedure, exam results, and educational information on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of gastric ulcers.

Anyone interested in learning more about gastric ulcers in horses is welcome at any time during the day, and a horse is not required to attend. Barr, Morresey, and Reed will be available throughout the day to discuss gastric ulcers and answer questions.

Gastric ulcers are a common medical condition in horses and foals. Numerous publications have identified that up to 60% of show horses have ulcers and up to 90% of racehorses develop gastric ulcers. There are many triggers for stomach ulcer development, and stress is an important factor. Horses might experience stress when exposed to situations that you might think of as normal routine such as training, travel, competition, shows, or events, or changes in routine such as lay-up due to sickness or injury.

Clinical signs associated with gastric ulcers are numerous and often vague. Typical symptoms include poor performance, poor hair coat, picky eating, and colic. The diagnosis of gastric ulcers can sometimes be tricky because the signs can be subtle and easy to misinterpret. The gold standard of diagnosis is gastroscopy, which is visualization of the stomach with an endoscope.

The primary goal of treatment is suppression of gastric acid which creates an environment conducive for healing. The most commonly used product is omeprazole, which is available under the brand name GastroGard, the only FDA-approved treatment. Omeprazole is also available in a lower dose product, UlcerGard, for use as a preventative against recurrence in horses with a history of ulcers, or for use during times of stress.

Owners with horses that travel, compete, train, or experience potentially stressful situations regularly are invited to participate in this gastroscopy event. Gastroscopy appointments can be scheduled with Whitney Mathes at 859/233-0371 or by e-mailing

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